Master Thesis Topic

An Integral Theory of Software Use

The ultimate goal of any piece of software is to be used by some human or system. In a sense, research into Usability have focused on things that can be objectively measured or subjectively experienced and described. In particular, the trend towards the concept of User Experience (UX) explicitly include subjective accounts of software use. The "Integral Theory" of Ken Wilber (WIT) is a hotly debated model of "everything". We are not interested in wether Wilber's is right or "the" right model integrating multiple human knowledge areas. However, it is interesting to discuss wether the quadrants of WIT can be used as an analytical tool in better understanding software use situations.

This thesis aims to analyse existing models of Software Usability and User Experience and see if to what degree they can be united in a model similar to WIT's AQAL ("all quadrants, all levels"), i.e. by analyzing software use from the four different perspectives of inside-individual, outside-individual, inside-collective and outside-collective.


The thesis project will involve

  1. studying and summarizing the Integral Theory of Wilber as an analytical tool (without any New Age or Philosophical connections),
  2. reviewing existing theories, surveys and taxonomies of software usability and user experience
  3. applying Wilber's Integral Theory (WIT) for the analysis of software use


Students interested in this topic should preferably have knowledge/experience/interest in:

  1. usability (some),

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